Saturday, February 9, 2013

University of Minnesota Medical School Dean 

and Academic Health Center Vice President

Dr. Aaron Friedman
to Step Down

I have never met Dr. Friedman in person. But I did engage in an interchange with him on the pages of the Chronicle of Higher Education.  Regular readers may find it noteworthy that he is, apparently, an espouser of homeopathy:

Why Would an Academic Health Center Support Homeopathy? 
Bill Gleason, Chronicle of Higher Education, January 22, 2011

Response: Why Would an Academic Health Center Support Homeopathy
Dr. Frank Cerra, former Vice President, University of Minnesota Academic Health Center and Medical School Dean
Dr. Aaron Friedman, Vice President, University of Minnesota Academic Health Center and Medical School Dean
Chronicle of Higher Education, February 11, 2011
That two medical school deans would write such an article is pathetic. Look at the comments on their piece,  e. g.:

Drs. Cerra and Friedman are blowing smoke. Homeopathy has already been studied and found to be without effect. Their response is a perfect example of PR doubletalk. 

What exactly is “Spirituality”? Do the smoke blowing Drs. actually know? Why do they need that term in the title of their program at all?

The arguments made in this essay in support of the Center for Spirituality and Healing sound like sleights of hand, and in most cases side-step the issue.

You want to be treated with a homeopathic “drug” that is chemically indistinguishable from pure water? Fine; go see a homeopath. Just don’t expect a better result than you’d get from a placebo, and don’t expect that responsible allopathic physicians will recommend it. But be very surprised if a major state university medical center offers it.

No doubt Dr. Friedman was in an awkward position - that of being medical school dean and Academic Health Service VP - at a time when the medical school faculty made it clear that they overwhelmingly prefer a dean who was dedicated solely to the medical school. It is regrettable that President Kaler decided not to follow the advice of the faculty. 


Latest from the University of Minnesota Medical School All the News That's Fit to Manage? (link)

University of Minnesota Medical School Dean Aaron Friedman: Driven to Dissemble? (link)

University of Minnesota Medical School Faculty Vote Overwhelmingly for a Dedicated Dean (link)

From the Minnesota Daily:

Dr. Aaron Friedman will step down as vice president of the Academic Health Center and dean of the Medical School at the end of 2013, according to an email from University President Eric Kaler on Friday afternoon.

Friedman, who has served in these roles since January 2011, will continue his leadership roles through the rest of the year.

“[Friedman] has been a strong leader through a time of transition and a strong voice for the health sciences,” Kaler said in the email.

The University will begin a national search for Friedman’s replacement in the next two weeks and will keep the positions of AHC vice president and Medical School dean combined, Kaler also said.

The Academic Health Center houses the University’s six health science colleges: Dentistry, Nursing, Medical, Pharmacy, Public Health and Veterinary Medicine.

A 2011 internal review of the AHC  said the position of vice president for health sciences and dean of the Medical School should be split, according to a previous Minnesota Daily article. But in the email, Kaler said he would keep the two positions combined based on a 2012 external review.

The search committee will be co-chaired by Bobbi Daniels, vice dean for clinical affairs in the Medical School and CEO of the University of Minnesota Physicians, and Leon Assael, dean of the School of Dentistry.

The Medical School will postpone its search for a new head of medicine because of Friedman’s stepping down, Kaler said.

Dr. Wes Miller will continue as the interim head of medicine through 2014.

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